Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Biomedical Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Basia Diug


Applications of epidemiological and statistical concepts and methods to typical problems in population health and in the biomedical literature. This will include consideration of fundamental ethical issues pertaining to the conduct of biomedical research and population health interventions. Much emphasis is placed on a population view of health and disease, social determinants of health, epidemiological principles, research study design and statistical analyses of data.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Explain how health and disease are measured in populations (Descriptive Epidemiology).
  2. Critically analyse the strengths and weaknesses of different epidemiological study designs which are used in population health research (Analytical Epidemiology).
  3. Critically appraise the biomedical literature on population health.
  4. Define the concept of the social determinants of health.
  5. Discuss the impact of epidemics and outbreaks on populations.
  6. Explain interventions which reduce risk exposure and/or treat diseases in populations are tested.
  7. Discuss the concepts of diagnostic and screening tests, and how they are applied to populations.
  8. Identify fundamental ethical considerations that underpin health research.
  9. Identify the importance of statistical methods in the design, analysis and presentation of the results of research studies in health and biomedicine, and in reports of health-related matters in general.
  10. Apply different types of biomedical data.
  11. Explain basic statistical methods and when to apply them, and be able to perform basic statistical analyses.
  12. Interpret statistical results presented in the biomedical literature and other media, and convey the interpretation in simple language.


Written examination (3 hours) (50%)
Mid semester MCQ test (10%)
Assignments (30%)
Oral presentations (10%)

A pass in the final examination must be obtained to pass the unit.

Workload requirements

Biostatistics: 3 hours per week, Epidemiology/Ethics: 3 hours per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Must be enrolled in one of the following:
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (including double degree programs)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Scholar Program)
+ Bachelor of Biomedical Science Advanced with Honours
+ Bachelor of Emergency Health (Paramedic)